Bridal Site Makeover Courts Younger Users

Brides 365, created by Chicago-based Content That Works, has rebooted as a user-generated content platform for engaged couples and newlyweds to post unlimited text, photos and video of their wedding. The site relaunches with over 60 media partners.

Brides 365 has had a makeover: The white labeling bridal website for media companies relaunches today with more interactivity to draw in young couples.

A product of Chicago-based Content That Works, which provides articles, graphics, videos and software to media companies on a range of subjects, the reboot features at its center a user-generated content platform for engaged couples and newlyweds to post unlimited text, photos and even video of the big event.

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Call it wedding banns for the social media age, and it jumps out of the gate with over 60 media partners including newly signed WFAA, the Belo-owned NBC affiliate in Dallas.

“This is the kind of thing that used to be in newspapers, but we’re letting them have unlimited text and photos to tell their stories online,” said Paul Camp, Content That Works’ CEO. He said the user interface for the banns is very “Facebook-like” for familiarity, and lets couples tell their story via a question and answer format. Once banns are published, they can be shared at any time on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Media clients can opt to either charge couples for the banns or provide them for free. The banns are augmented with daily updated features from Content That Works and the local client. The site’s reboot also features additional video offerings, which can be hosted by local clients or embedded by Brides 365 on the back end.

Beyond the banns, Brides 365 monetizes through display ads and a new vendor directory, which prices at three tiers (though many clients have made the entry-level tier free). Enhanced listings with photos and links are available, as are top tier listings that allow advertisers to endlessly change their content in real time.

Brand Connections

Camp said that clients keep 100% of the revenue from the ads sold in their market. National ads will be integrated down the road, he said, with a revenue share agreement for clients.

Brides 365, in turn, charges a weekly fee for its clients that covers daily content updates and prices on a sliding scale from $40-$300.

Camp said that bridal site has been a boon to the company towards diversifying its client base. Having traditionally worked with mostly newspaper companies since Content That Works’ 2001 launch, Brides 365 has pulled television and radio properties into the mix. Camp estimates that 50% of Brides 365’s clients are now television stations.

The lucrative bridal market rakes in about $2.75 billion in advertising nationally according to data from The Wedding Report, which tracks such spending — a likely driver for Brides 365’s widening client base. The same source posits that there will be over 2 million weddings in the U.S. this year with the average couple spending over $26,000 on their nuptials over a 14-month planning period. That makes for a national pot of nearly $55 billion for the industry in total, according to The Wedding Report.

Meanwhile, national wedding sites such as The Knot have been making inroads into local markets, chipping away at territory once wholly owned by local media. Camp said that over 30,000 local vendors are now advertisers on The Knot, the market’s largest wedding site. “They are picking the pockets of your local readers,” he said.


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